Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Student Action Committee Protest at the Lahore Press Club

Lahore 04-12-2007:

A protest was held at the Lahore Press Club at 3 pm today (Tuesday) under the auspices of the Student Action Committee Lahore, which is comprised of 21 universities. At the same time, a parallel protest was being held in Islamabad, organised by the Islamabad Student Action Committee. In Lahore, about 200 students, lawyers, civil society activists and journalists gathered inside the press club holding placards and posters. The protesters formed a human chain around the Shimla Pahari, shouting slogans such as 'Adlia ki azadi tak jang rahe gi', 'Lathi goli ki sarkar nahin chale gi', 'Tulba maangain azadi', and 'Girti hui diwaar ko aik dhaka aur doo'. The protesters had originally aimed to march to the Geo office on Davis Road. However, since traffic was being blocked, the protesters decided to return to the press club so as not to cause inconvenience to motorists. Inside the press club, a number of speeches were made. Activist Hina Jillani, Bushra Aitzaz, and students from participating universities were among those who spoke. The speakers called for the reinstatement of the pre-November 3rd judiciary and the freeing of the media, and demanded that all political parties boycott the upcoming sham elections. The eviction of Justice Shahid Siddiqui, who refused to take oath under the PCO, from his house in GOR-I was condemned and the protesters were encouraged to go and protest outside the Justice's house. All the speakers encouraged the protesters to keep up their efforts and not back down until their goals had been achieved. The protesters then disbanded and many of them left for GOR-I. At the judge's residence, students joined lawyers, journalists and other activists outside Justice Shahid Siddiqui's house and chanted slogans. The Justice also came out to speak to the protesters and lauded the efforts of the lawyers, students, media and activists. The protest went ahead despite threats from the police to arrest students from the universities involved. FIRs have been registered against student and faculty who are thought to be leading the movement.-- RegardsPublic Relations ManagerLUMS Student Movement

(The Emergency Times -Eds_ Reports for the Islamabad protest will follow but of what is known it was a huge event with over 1000 protestors present and has succesfully registered the students demands.)

LUMS beseiged by Police

LUMS is currently surrounded by police personnel who have set up barricades near the front entrance. Inspection of all traffic going in and out of the University is underway. The professed motive is to prevent students from attending today's student rally at the Press Club.

Yesterday, a local SHO visited the LUMS campus and issued, in no uncertain terms, threats to abduct students who continued to participate in the protests. Similar intimidation attempts have been made in Islamabad, at people's homes.

The state continues to use totalitarian measures to curb the students' voice.

We will not back down.

In Complete Unity.